Resilience in Pakistan

I listened to this video today by Shoail Malik on the challenges facing Pakistan – very informative. My notes follow:

Challenges facing are immense. Range of social, economic, environment risks which Pakistan faces most.

  • Beset with shocks (debt crisis, energy crisis, looming water crisis that many are not aware of.)
  • Poor governance
  • Inadequate policy analysis
  • M and E absent
  • No learning from the past.
  • Increasing reliance on donors
  • Politicians fire fighting not making policy
  • Earthquakes, floods, terrorism

Inherent inequalities. Esp land which is translated into power. Growing population. Young people lacking marketable skills. Education piece of paper to get govt job. At 21 want a govt job to win entitlements and pension.

Political backsliding on programs and policy. Political system returns the same people again and again. Educated people have to work out what can we do for ourselves.

Pakistan has weak level of resilience. Linked to agriculture.

Low productivity

Percentage of agriculture as proportioni of GDP. Natural decline but percent share coming from growth rate in ag declining. The important crops dominant and remain constant. Yields per hectare by own farmer and international levels are low except for maize which came from outside the system (lessons to be learnt)

While share of ag value added declining, share of labour in ag not declining – still 44% meaning still hugely low productivity. We know the answers but policies not cognisant of this aspect

Policies favour large farmers

Compare the data from ag census. In 1960. Under 5 ha accounted for under 19% of total.. 2010 account for 65%. “hard fact of Pakistan”. Our policies are made for large farmers. Subsidize wheat rural sector yet 26% of wheat farmers are net sellers – the rest consume. Net maize consumers are worse off.

Limited diversification in agriculture

USAID focused on value added agriculture. Type of agriculture that will benefit small farmers. Diversification limited due to policy disconnect. Policy ignores variability across regions. Pakistan is diverse. Agro climatic zones variable so one policy does not fit all.

Why are Pakistanis resilient

Slavery taught us to get us what we can

Religion teaches us to accept and give thanks for what our state is. But forget individual equity and access to justice (eg. reflected in prices /distortions). Have to seek knowledge and work hard for social good because private good dependent on social good. Social good lost in the private.

Resilience programming targets weakest nodes in the system. A people centred approach. They have to define the approach. They have the knowledge. The quickest way to build resilience. Need to strengthen nutrition networks. Traditional system is now broken. No way to access information. Skewed consumption patterns. Bulk coming from fat oils and sugar with decline of vegetables.

Silos between agencies that want exclusivity in order to show attribution. Need to build integrated, demand driven system. Agricultural growth for Pakistan essential for nutrition and rural development. Value addition is what will generate jobs for the 44%. Advocates a systems approach to development with farmers, NGOs, policy makers working together.

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